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Ramboll – offshore technology review

Published by
World Pipelines,


In honour of the Offshore Technology Conference, each year, World Pipelines’ April issue includes updates from oil and gas pipeline companies working offshore around the world. In addition to the issue’s general offshore focus, a number of companies are invited to participate in the annual Offshore Technology Review, which offers insights into global offshore pipeline activities. Read on to see what Ramboll has been up to.

 

While the energy transition towards renewables is evolving, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that fossil fuels will continue playing a fundamental role for many years. However, in order to secure the much needed energy supply, the necessary infrastructure must be established. Transmission pipelines remain among the most effective systems to transport natural resources over longer distances.


Ramboll (Denmark) is an engineering, design and environmental consultancy with a particularly strong representation in the Nordics, UK, North America, Continental Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. Since engineering drives a large proportion of the costs seen by asset owners during both construction and operation, Ramboll has focused on assisting energy decision-makers with cost-effective solutions on how to leverage the available natural resources.

Improving the flexibility of Europe’s gas market has been high on the agenda over the past year. European countries that depend on foreign energy supply are currently establishing the necessary infrastructure and diversity in order to meet the growing demand and ensure independence from a single supplier. Ramboll has studied and designed numerous pipeline interconnectors that will contribute to the optimisation of Europe’s gas infrastructure and distribution systems.

The Baltic pipe, which aims at integrating the Norwegian, Danish and Polish gas networks, is one example. Ramboll has been chosen as the leading partner for the pipeline’s feasibility study, providing a solid foundation for future implementation. Another current initiative comes from Finland, where the Balticconnector pipeline is planned to integrate the Finnish and Estonian gas networks, creating a link to the greater Europe. Ramboll has completed the front end engineering and design (FEED) study and will continue as the owner’s engineer in the upcoming phase of the Balticconnector project.

Adapting to a volatile market without compromising quality is challenging. However, there has never been a better time to show that good engineering is always cheap from a long term perspective. This is mirrored in the first pipeline to cross the Arctic Circle at water depths of 1300 m. The Polarled pipeline is part of Statoil’s plans to develop fields further north in the Norwegian Sea. The project comprises a 36 in., 481 km pipeline from the Aasta Hansteen field to the Nyhamna gas facility in western Norway. At such water depths, the extreme external pressure poses challenges for design and commercial feasibility. It takes highly advanced technical optimisation and technology to reach the difficult to access gas resources and transport them effectively.


Ramboll performed the detailed design based on software tools and cloud computing data, which gave an exceptional understanding of the true physical behaviour of the pipeline despite the extreme uneven seabed. Close client interaction was also valuable to successfully overcoming the challenges, implementing the technical solution and bringing Polarled one step closer to its main goal of securing energy.

Looking to the year ahead

Henrik Juhl, Senior Director, Offshore Pipelines, Subsea and Jackets at Ramboll, said: “Looking at the IEA’s energy outlook, there is no doubt the demand for oil and gas will continue to grow as a result of the rise in populations and living standards. Although we are in a challenging market, the low oil price has pushed us towards an elevated focus on effectiveness and total project value. Thus, Ramboll expects an increased activity within new upstream and midstream projects. In addition to this, the company also sees an opportunity in highly specialised services within structural integrity, as extending the lifetime of offshore pipelines can reduce both the costs of infrastructure replacement and the carbon footprint.

Additional information can be found on Ramboll's website.

Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/special-reports/05042017/ramboll-offshore-technology-review/


 

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Offshore pipeline news